The Coronavirus disease of 2019, dubbed COVID-19, is wreaking havoc across national and international economies. Some governments have allowed businesses and workplaces to open as long as they adhere to the conditions set out by their local authorities. In the midst of the current situation, this article expands on workplace safety measures that are quickly becoming adopted across the world. As explained below, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) apprise six key components that ensure safety in your workplace.
All businesses should stay up-to-date on regulations and guidelines from state, federal, and local health organizations to include those recommendations into their workplace plan. The level of risk workers face must dictate the development of this plan. You must consider the Coronavirus sources that might infect workers such as customers, public, workmates, sick people, international travelers, and health workers. Other factors to consider are an individual’s risk, such as old age and immunocompromising conditions and pregnancy.
Address safety issues
Organizations should always consider the safety of their workforce as a paramount, especially during this COVID-19 era. You should lay out a training program solely focused on Coronavirus and ensure that your workplace complies with OSHA safety and health standards. Although online classes are available, it is best to contact safety staffing services to get the best firsthand unmatched training that is personalized encourages knowledge retention and peer learning among attendees.
You should include basic prevention controls that promote good hygiene in line with the WHO and CDC. These measures include providing soap, water, and hand sanitizer dispensers throughout most locations of your workplace. Employees, customers, and visitors should wash their hands with soap and running water for more than 20 seconds or use sanitizers with a minimum of 60% alcohol. Employees and customers should always wear face coverings such as surgical masks to minimize shedding of virus and practice respiratory etiquette, like sneezing into their elbow.
Sick employees should stay at home and discourage the sharing of other employee’s desk office equipment. Furthermore, it would help if you established policies that are flexible in terms of work shifts and worksites to enhance social distancing. You should consult the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get appropriate disinfectants to carry out regular cleaning. Frequent disinfection of the worksite is critical in preventing the spread of the virus, and the EPA will provide information on the correct application method, contact time, and concentrations.
Develop Policies for Sick Employees
It would be best to lay out a plan for identifying potentially infectious people in your workplace, such as taking temperature readings at the front door. Encourage your workers to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 at all times. You should establish procedures and policies for workers to follow when they become sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. These procedures should encompass the isolation process for suspected Coronavirus patients.
Therefore, it demands that you have an isolation room to keep suspected individuals away from your workers, visitors, and clients. Confirmed patients should be isolated from suspected individuals to contain the spread of the virus. It would help if you restricted movement into the isolation rooms and permitted individuals to wear personal protective equipment to prevent the virus’s contraction. Individuals that suspect potential exposure to the virus should isolate themselves for two weeks.
Promote Communication and Workplace Flexibility
You should establish sick leave policies that are consistent with WHO guidelines and ensure employees understand them. Sick employees should stay home until they get better, and you can outsource services from other organizations. Set flexible policies that allow employees to stay home and care for sick relatives to minimize disease transmission risk. You should provide education, equipment, and training for preventing COVID-19 spread at work.
You should not demand a COVID-19 test result from employees who come from sick leave, and if there are any results, it is best to maintain confidentiality.
Employ Workplace Controls
OSHA uses a specific framework that aids in controlling workplace hazards for organizations. These controls affect engineering, administrative, safe work practices, and the use of PPEs. Therefore, you should install high-efficiency air filters, drive-through windows for customer service, and negative pressure ventilators.
Additionally, administrative controls include encouraging stay at home for sick workers and minimizing contact among employees and clients by using virtual communication. It would help if you discontinued nonessential traveling to high-risk regions. You should provide resources such as no-touch trash bins, tissues, and disposable towels.
Establish social distancing rules and guidelines that physically separate workers whenever possible. Such strategies include changing the workplace layout, physical space between clients and workers, remote service delivery, and visual cues to maintain at least six feet distance. Furthermore, there should not be crowds, meetings, or large gatherings in the workplace to improve safety. Workers should sanitize their hands after visiting the washrooms, touching surfaces, working shifts, and blowing their nose.
The global pandemic has affected people’s livelihood and activities such as tourism, financial markets, travel, food supplies, and trade. With the recent removal of restrictions, it is imperative to enhance your workers’ safety and clients’ safety. These are some of the many guidelines set out by OSHA and the CDC to ensure the safety of your employees from COVID-19.